June, 2007


Mythic Prelude:


Notes to the Underground


Hello, and welcome to the heady month of June, 2007. This transition time is a sigh-of-relief phase of major significance, as it marks the third and last coming and going of the Saturn-to-Neptune opposition that has been the master celestial dynamic for almost a year now, since August of 2006. Saturn in Leo and Neptune in Aquarius will finally disengage from each other next month, when Saturn moves ahead toward Virgo and his opposition to Neptune dissolves. Happily, these two heavy and mirth-challenged characters will not have been in stiff friction and creative tension with each other for a whole year. If they were, then the last ten months would have felt like an endless wait for the play to begin, or resume, in what Edward Dorn called "the theatre of impatience." The good news is that many of us, taught and helped by resources like The Secret and Barbel Mohr's The Cosmic Ordering Service, have made faster progress than we thought possible in manifesting our intentions, and we have found the unpredictable flow of opportunities and events more of a pleasure, and less of a scare, than we feared it would be.
The tough news, naturally, as any lover feels at the beginning of a new romance when his or her vocabulary now seems to consist of the single word More! -- is that we want to pick up the tempo now, toward realizing our own aims, and for bringing about the outcomes we want for the benefit of all people and the planet. It will seem later this month -- especially as Saturn and Neptune come into exact opposition again on June 26 -- that something has gone off the track. We will be apt to wonder what happened: why the encouraging new leads and chances that seemed to be opening so beautifully have somehow slammed shut, or were not there at all, and seem to be waiting in the queue to take their places in the gallery of mirages and wishful thoughts that we've entertained at some expense in recent years.
It's not that anything has gone askance or astray, really, or that the worthy goals that have been looking so bright and near to us aren't even there. In this realm of third density, where true spiritual aims like to amuse themselves by bouncing off false obstacles, intentionality moves in a fast-slow-faster pattern. That's why, for centuries now, the design of a three-part classical concerto has had such a rightness to it, and such an appeal to our sense of pulse and build. First an intention hits the road at a tempo that is well named allegro ma non troppo because it's fast, but can't yet move too fast. Then comes a slow movement, always more subtle and reflective, often in a minor key, as though it's best to sit and rest, integrate what we've done and focus better on the journey ahead. Then, often sooner than we expect, the last leg of the trip starts to run headlong in words like presto and brio, sometimes ending in the cascade of a brilliant coda as we hit home. The last year may have felt like this to you, and so may the months ahead, as they have for so many of us. You may be one of the many who felt as though you were spinning your wheels in sand or mud at the end of last summer, and in February-March 2007 -- but that the path has just cleared, or is about to. You may have had encouraging bolt-from-the-blue news in only the last few days.
This, the exciting push forward after times of slow or no progress, is in fact the main point of this whole Saturn-Neptune year. Though some astrologers have offered profound insights on the deeper soul currents of the time, the practical lesson, as it affects our own ability to move and to act, is that the year's last slow interval of rest comes at the end of this month. Then the pace picks up, and we enter a time of unprecedented flux and power that prepares us for the momentous summer of 2010. Those of us who are shifting our energy postures from pitfalls and perils to the most energizing possibilities, or have already done so, are about to enter a carnival of chances in which we will hear terms like magic and miracle used more and more often, at least until we integrate the miraculous too, and understand better what Arthur C. Clarke meant when he wrote that "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Now the emphasis is about to shift from what we support and admire, in the achievements and dreams of stars and leaders, to what we bring about ourselves. Think of the trend this way. A year ago, Al Gore was still a prophet without honor, but was at least slowly gaining greater credibility from his documentary film An Inconvenient Truth, which had evolved from the trial-and-error of delivering a powerpoint presentation to hundreds of audiences. In March, after we came through the second Saturn-Neptune opposition, the film won an Oscar. Now Gore's team is training a thousand new presenters to replicate the compelling message and get it to more audiences, including one that is still largely untapped: children, who will in turn help wake up their parents. The next teaching phase begins in September, after Saturn and Neptune will have played their third and last faceoff with each other. This final act will run true to form. We will again see hidebound institutions get abraded into new rhythms of relevance by the pressure of what the human collective heart feels and intends, much more than by what the collective mind envisions and affirms. While new awareness and education are certainly important, the essential difference now is that we are learning to speak to the human heart in new ways, as though the heart itself were a second language that we'll have to master if we're to work and play together brilliantly in the time that begins now.
The special, happy feature of this month's most highly charged last third, from the Summer Solstice on June 21 through the end of the month, is that Mars in Aries and Venus in Leo are both favorably aligned with Saturn, thus lending much energetic and sexy creative fire to this time. Once Saturn moves into late Leo, on his way to entering Virgo in September, our focus will accelerate even more rapidly than it did last month to new ceremonies that unite us in celebrations of beauty and joy. The tempo began to pick up last month, in fact.
May began with Global Love Day on the annual mid-Spring feast of Beltaine. On May 13 Circle of Sound -- about whom more soon -- anchored the Global Joyous Ceremony. On May 20 a World Symphony of Peace Prayers was held in Mt. Fuji, Japan as the central event in a global ceremony of prayer and music for peace. And on May 22, the very day of the Global Oneness Celebration at the midpoint of the Fifth Day in the Galactic Creation Cycle, this crop circle appeared -- two months before crop circles normally appear in the riper grain of July -- at Wexcombe Down in Wiltshire, England.
(photo courtesy of Steve Alexander)
The momentum is getting hard to miss, and the main questions now are when to gather in the linking of intentions, and how to make it all as light, yet deeply moving, as possible. The Summer Solstice is an easy one to mark, especially for the many groups who are reviving and practicing women's spirituality, as this Solstice marks the Sun's transition into the sign of Cancer, ruled by the Moon. It thus represents the resurgence of the feminine, just as the Winter Solstice in December observes the rebirth of the light in the masculine Solar Child. How to celebrate and honor the feminine energy of the Moon, most of all in its most concrete expression through motherhood? Here's a ceremony that you not only can try at home in your community, but are urged to do. All you need are some mothers and some voices.
In the center a new mother holds her baby. One or more other new mothers may join her. In a circle around her are grouped all of the other women who have given birth. In the outer circle are everyone else. The three tiers turn in different directions, doing a simple chant in honor of the feminine element of water, for example,
All life comes from the sea.
The ocean is the beginning of the Earth.
Back to the river, back to the sea,
Back to the ocean that is all around me.
It works every time -- provided that intentions are lovingly held and cheerfully done.
Sound -- in the beauty of voices and the beat of the drum, in the harmonizing and carrying of intentions, is the essential piece in all of this, and that's why our focus shifts now to our main topic this month: the growing and very dynamic Circle of Sound network.
It's been some seven years since Daniel Brower first began playing quartz crystal singing bowls and organizing sound circles with didjeridoos, flutes and other instruments at his original base on Vashon Island, near Seattle. There is nothing so unusual in this, as you know. The Sacred Sounds group started in Hawaii in 1996, and other groups have likely been playing for 30 years now, since the Harmonic Convergence in 1987.
What is unique about Circle of Sound, however, is that in the four years since Daniel began expanding it into a world-wide network of people who meet to play bowls regularly, and align with their sister groups, no one has committed as much time, effort and devotion to the goal of growing and coordinating local sound circles who will not only anchor the core intentions of joy, unity, acceptance, harmony and compassion in their own communities, but will link with other Circle of Sound groups to create standing waves of sound and intention that can move across the Earth, to bring the planet and its people into harmony and peace. Probably no one in the world has so many stories of the enchantment that comes when crystal bowls sing in wild and sacred spots that have never heard them before. And no one has carried the vision with such good humor and determination. If everyone on the planet had a Euro for every kilometer Daniel Brower has flown since 2003, and really understood his mission, then choosing the next president of the World Bank would be about as consequential as replacing the drummer in a neighborhood boy band, because everyone would be ready to ascend into abundance and serenity at the drop of an Om, a clown nose or both.
Circle of Sound has grown by now to include dozens of groups. It is most active in South America, with chapters in Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Brazil and Chile, and is also growing in Russia, France, England, the USA, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands -- and now Egypt, one of the seven "primary sites" where Circle of Sound aims to place a full set of seven chakra-tuned bowls. A total of 50 groups played together, some with only one or two bowls, others with one or more full seven-bowl sets, at the milestone event of the Autumn Equinox in 2005.
After four years in the air and on the road, Daniel is nearing his objective of placing at least one full set of bowls at each of the primary sites that were communicated to him by Hugo Jaime, a descendent of Argentina's Comechingone people, who has been living for some 20 years in a vortex called Posta del Silencio, or Silent Post. Ever since Hugo Jaime sketched the 7 primary sites, giving hints and clues rather than exact locations, the process of starting sound circles at these places has been like a seven-episode story in which the hero faces new challenges and weirdnesses in each place. If you imagine Hercules having to do seven labors instead of twelve, armed with crystal bowls and clown noses instead of a bow and a club, you'll get the idea. The first site was easily accessible: at Tepoztlan, famous for its mysterious pyramid, just south of Mexico City. The second, in Russia, was much harder to find. It's so far from any population center that its location can only be described as near the Black Sea, on the way to the Caucasus. The third site is at Bugarach in France, on a mountain with such strange electromagnetic properties that Jules Verne once came to investigate it, and today airplanes are warned not to fly over it unless they'd like to experience navigational weirdout. The fourth site, famous for its massive cyclopean walls, is Sacsayhuaman in Cusco, Peru. The fifth is at Capilla del Monte in Argentina, near Uritorco Mountain, said by the indigenous people to be the oldest mountain in the world.
"How can they tell it's the oldest mountain in the world?" I asked.
"By counting the mountain rings, like in a tree," Daniel replied with a momentarily straight face. It is no accident that Circle of Sound's most popular offshoot is the Cosmic Clown Society, whose members all wear clown noses knitted in South America.
Daniel, his partner Catherine Gaze and I have been traveling and doing sound circles in the 6th site since last month. Unlike the other five primary sites that have preceded it, Egypt will not align with Circle of Sound only from a single power spot such as the Giza pyramids. While the Insight Inside center in Cairo (left) will be custodian of the bowls that Catherine and Candy Herzog have just donated, the bowls will travel to other sites, such as Alexandria's El Nour center, where we played them on June 3.
At the four Global Harmonization ceremonies that Circle of Sound does at the Equinoxes and Solstices, the Egypt circle will be held at a place like the one shown just below: the so-called Temple of the Sun at Abu Ghroub, near Abu Sir, between Saqqara and Giza. This area, and many of the ancient power sites along the Nile, fulfill one of the main criteria for Circle of Sound's primary sites: all are located in areas where ancient peoples are said to have lived underground, even to have built and inhabited subterranean cities. Like much of South America, the pyramid field from Dashour in the south all the way up to Giza -- map here -- is said to be crisscrossed by underground chambers and passages.
The Temple of the Sun promises little when you approach, and you see only the top ruins of a small pyramid. But go over one of the sand mounds that flank it, and you see the alabaster marvel that has been called everything from an ET platform, for landing spacecraft, to a sacrificial table, to a holistic medicine and sacred sound site that small groups will use discreetly until the authorities decide to shut them down -- or we'll achieve liftoff, and we'll have to search our memories to recall what "authority" used to mean.
The large alabaster bowls shown at top are equally mysterious. One Egyptian in our group speculated that they were used for catching rainwater -- though in the ancient millennium when this site was built, the river flowed right by this place, bringing so much water that there was no need to catch rainwater. One respected source says that the bowls were used to hold the blood of animals sacrificed on the table itself, though he does not cite any source for this idea, and the table does not have any of the grooves like those that were used to drain liquid from stone slabs that were known to have been used for embalming. While altars heaped with meat and other offerings are often shown in wall reliefs and paintings in temples and tombs, rites of animal sacrifice are not. It appears likely that people brought meat offerings -- especially legs of beef, whose shape Khemitians identified with the Big Dipper -- to the sacred sites and offered them there, but that animals were not slaughtered and dressed within the temple itself.
The rationale for calling Abu Ghroub's alabaster gem an "offering table" is plain enough, as the four projecting sides of the table form the suf character for hetep, or offering. Something was being given up on this surface. But what?
Could it be that people lay on this table in ancient times, as they do today, offering up their dis-ease as health seekers and healers align their intentions to release back to source the pain and blockages that once served a useful purpose, but no longer do so now? Could it be that teams of energy medicine practitioners worked together at this waist-high table, just as teams of physicians worked nearby at Saqqara to diagnose and heal others through methods that included vibrations of sound? Could it be that the bowls sitting in a mute line near the table were once filled with water to different levels, and produced musical tones when played with mallets or wands? Could it be that the sound of seven crystal bowls resonates with such clear beauty in the Temple of the Sun today because that was the original purpose of this place, and today's sounds are all the more powerful because they evoke ancient sonic memories that are still living here? Could it be that groups with whom I've worked here for the last three years have sometimes achieved remarkable healing outcomes because the Temple of the Sun is in fact an energy convergence point, where intentions of wholeness are actually amped by the unifying and cohering force of the field itself?
It all makes perfect sense. Just as there are healing shrines where people have found relief from illness and injury by applying powerful alchemies of healing waters and unshakable faith, there are places like Abu Ghroub where Jonathan Goldman's famous formula -- Sound + Intention = Healing -- has its best chance to work because the energetic field of the place itself seems to be strongly centripetal. Thus it may be supportive of our intentions to draw our own bodies and minds, and the emotional field of humanity and Earth, into oneness. We shall see. Sound experiments will continue at this place and others, as will the eternal cop vs. trickster dance which is even more intense in the police state of Egypt than it is everywhere.
Daniel Brower (L), Hossam el Sherif at the Temple of the Sun, Abu Ghroub
The next Global Harmonization comes on June 21, played by more Circle of Sound groups than have ever linked with each other before. And the network is likely to keep growing exponentially in the years to come, as more and more of us discover that there are a lot more of us than we ever imagined. A lot more light workers and love players, a lot more spiritual voyagers and planters of intention, a lot more keepers of frequency. As we keep on weaving the web, and we discover to our delight new parts of the web that are already well and strongly woven, we will walk together in a serene beauty that many of us have found hard to imagine in recent tough and slippery times.
Another thing we'll discover is that there are not just hundreds of sacred sound groups on the planet. There are thousands, and as we begin to find each other in the years to come, our sound will not need to get bigger. It will happen among us, as it does in a bowl circle, that the art of the harmony is not in playing loud enough to hear your own bowl, but only feeling the bowl's vibration in your playing stick, as your own sound blends into the whole and, as Rumi put it, "All qualities of doingness disappear."
Play that bowl. That's right. Now a little more softly. Find the harmony. Keep Holding That Frequency.

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Copyright 2007 Dan Furst. All Rights Reserved.